Thanks for agreeing to chat with me today, Yasmine. What was happening in your life when you started thinking of suicide?

I’m in a much better place now, so it is nice to be here and share my story. For me, it wasn’t one thing. Several things built up over time.

Can you tell me about those things?

When I was a child, I was sexually assaulted and never spoke about it; but it was always in the background of my mind. In 2017, I started struggling with depression and uni stress. I felt overwhelmed and I started self-harming.

In 2018, I started having thoughts about suicide but never acted on them. In 2020, my long-term relationship with my boyfriend ended and around the same time, I had a falling out with my brother. I attempted suicide.

I’m so sorry this happened to you, Yasmine.

Thank you. A lot of time has passed and I feel comfortable sharing some parts of my story now.

You said that you had attempted suicide. What kept you alive?

I have Lifeline’s number saved in my phone. Immediately after my suicide attempt, I called Lifeline. The Lifeline volunteer was calm, which helped when I felt so distressed. They encouraged me to call my friend, so I did.

My friend came to find me and called an ambulance, and we went to the hospital together. After I was discharged, I had suicidal thoughts again and went to my friend’s house and stayed there until they passed.

It is so brave that you reached out for help, and I’m so glad that it paid off.

Yeah, they were very generous, and I really am thankful that I allowed myself to lean on them. Now that I have reached out for help, I know I can do it again.

That’s awesome. What kinds of things do you do now to look after yourself?

It might sound strange but K-pop music really hit me and was a turning point for me. I felt inspired and it changed my life.

That’s not strange at all! Different things work for different people.

That’s true! Through therapy, I’ve learned that recovery isn’t linear. Each time you lapse, you get closer to recovery and it’s another time that you have not given up. I have a good psychologist who really listens to me and has taught me different coping strategies.

Mental health is a constant effort, an ongoing commitment. And it makes sense – you’re taking care of your physical health constantly, right? So, I started to see that mental health is like that too.

That is a really good way of looking at it 😊